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“3 Tips to Fall Asleep as Soon as Your Head Hits the Pillow”
- Northshore Acupuncture Center5225 Old Orchard Road, Suite 24A
Skokie, IL 60077(815) 814-1319
- • Seven Healthy Fall Habits •
- • 5 Ways to Stay Fit This Fall •
- • Improve Your Mental Health with Regular Meditation •
I didn’t just lose 15 lbs in February. I probably lost 300+ lbs! I didn’t just release extra weight during my month of detox. I donated bags of things that I no longer needed that were taking up space in my home and practice. I started releasing emotional baggage that was weighing on me more the physical weight or the clutter combined. So why was this detox so successful for me? Here’s a summary of the things to which I attribute the success.
Mindset – Meditation, Momentum, Visualization & Gratitude
- Strengthen the mind/body connection through meditation
While I technically didn’t start the strict dietary changes until February, the process started back in September when I started meditating regularly. Meditating consistently has strengthened my mind/body connection. Previously when it came to food, my brain was making all the calls. It had lots of reasons for why I should eat whatever I wanted – I’ve had a hard day, I’m exhausted, I’m stressed, I’m celebrating. After I had been meditating consistently for some time, it was easier to “hear” what my body needed.
In January, I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. and started to declutter. As part of her process, you have to physically touch everything you own and ask yourself whether it sparks joy. That exercise further strengthened my intuition and mind/body connection and the process spilled over to other areas of my life including diet and exercise. I started noticing what foods and movements sparked joy in my body – and what had the opposite effect.
2. Start with one small change to gain momentum
I am a recovering perfectionist. My friends had been urging me to start intermittent fasting, but I kept putting off starting, saying that I need to clean up my diet first. Finally one of my friends got fed up of the same excuses and demanded that I start within two days. She insisted I start narrowing the timeframe that I eat during the day without making any dietary changes. She got me in action. I started to notice that my clothes were looser and I had more energy. The small successes I was seeing inspired me to make more changes.
3. Visualization (imagination)
In the fall, another friend reminded me of the importance of visualization in achieving your health goals. I started imagining how I will feel when I achieve my health goals. I imagine how energetic and invigorated I will feel during the day. I imagine the excitement and pride I will feel when I do my first pull up. I imagine the joy of being able to go for a run with my son without knee pain. I imagine how strong, independent and happy I will feel to be able to do CrossFit with my kids when I’m in my 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s. I imagine how it will feel to be able to wear the jeans I purchased in Italy years ago. I imagine myself as a person who enjoys eating lots of vegetables, being active and taking care of my mental health. I imagine myself knowing that I AM ENOUGH the way I am right now.
I also spent time appreciating my body and health as they were today. Every morning before I get out of bed and night before I go to sleep, I review the things for which I’m grateful. That often includes my health, that I haven’t gotten minor or major illnesses, my strength, the areas of my body that have no pain, etc. It’s important to balance being happy and grateful for what you have while striving for more.
Addressing My Insulin Resistance
I haven’t been diagnosed with insulin resistance, but I’m sure I was.
- Intermittent Fasting
By practicing intermittent fasting, I was able to address the insulin resistance which would’ve sabotaged any attempts to change my diet. I started by narrowing my eating window to 8 hours/day. Because I am not a coffee drinker, I drank water with a few drops of doTERRA Slim & Sassy to manage my appetite until it was time to eat. I learned that feelings of hunger are caused by a hormone, and will go away within 10-15 minutes even if I don’t eat. Check out this post from CrossFit Impact for other fasting tips. For more info about the benefits of fasting, I recommend the books The Obesity Code by Jason Fung and Delay Not Deny by Gin Stephens.
I started having regular acupuncture treatments to address my digestive system.
After all this preparation, I officially started my detox on Monday, 2/5.
- Eliminate processed foods
I eliminated sugar/artificial sweeteners, gluten, dairy and soy from my diet completely to significantly address any inflammation in my body. Initially I committed to doing it for two weeks with the intention of doing it for at least 30 days. My brain felt too overwhelmed by 30 days, so I tricked it by saying I would just do it for 14 days and re-evaluate.
2. Eat a variety of veggies
I also committed to eating at least 5 servings of vegetables per day and at was least 3 different colors. I felt like I had some issues with my gut health that was causing brain fog, anxiety and mild depression. Eliminating sugar and gluten and increasing the variety and types of vegetables helped me starve the bad bacteria that was causing the issues and feed the good bacteria that help keep me healthy.
3. Increase movement
I strive to go for a walk outside everyday even when I’ve worked out to get more energy and Vitamin D. I also have incorporated movement “snacks” through out my day. Every time I go by the washer/dryer, I do 25 jumping jacks. When I’m heating water for tea, I march in place. I do yoga stretches every few hours. I try to walk more instead of driving. When I do drive, I try to park farther away from the entrance.
4. Manage withdrawal
I used acupuncture and essential oils to minimize withdrawal symptoms. When I was very tempted to eat something processed, I used my meditation skills to unpack why I was feeling that way and other actions I could take instead. I started taking Epsom salt baths, going for a walk or reading a good back when I was tired, stressed, celebrating – instead of relying on food. I continued to take my supplements – multivitamin, omega 3s, Vitamin D, probiotic. I added the doTERRA detox blends – Zendocrine softgels and Zendocrine Detoxification Complex to support the heatlhy cleansing and filtering fuctions of the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs and skin.
The results? I have lost about 20 lbs – 15 lbs in February and am wearing clothes that are 2 1/2 sizes smaller. I have more energy and require less sleep to feel invigorated. I don’t have brain fog, and am experiencing less anxiety.
I started a Facebook group with a small number of friends who also wanted to focus on up leveling their health and used that for accountability and support. I also continued to go to CrossFit 3-4 times/week for the support that community provides for my overall goals.
Maintenance is usually the hardest part. I’m not there yet, but I will be setting myself up for success by continuing my daily morning and evening routines. My daily routines include:
- Gratitude practice
- Reading inspirational content
- Listening to personal development speakers
- Practicing Lisa’s mirror exercise – see minute 2:45
- Breathing exercises
- “I am enough” affirmations
- Making my bed
- Forgiveness practice
If you would like to work with me on up leveling your health, you can schedule an appointment online or by calling 815.814.1319.
My reading today has brought me to tears multiple times already. I am reading Lisa Nichols’ No Matter What during my morning ritual, and today’s chapter was about self talk. I’ve heard Lisa and her team talk about this topic many times – each time I take away something different. continue reading
I’ve always struggled a bit with clutter – I’d have a “junk drawer” that was hard to open because it was so stuffed full. Or that closet that you’d have to be careful when opening. But my clutter got out of control several years ago. I had a ton of sexy excuses for it – I was going to school full-time while working 60+ hours/week and raising two kids. continue reading
During the summer solstice your yang energy reaches its peak. It is important to harness the peak of this yang energy, because as summer shifts into fall yang energy will decline. This great abundance of yang energy will translate throughout your body because during this season you are active and growing.
According to five element theory, during the summer the organ that receives extra energy is the heart. When the seasons change so do the organs we should focus on in the body. You should focus on the heart during summer. Feed the heart heart-nourishing foods and make sure to remain active so the heart receives positive energy. continue reading
Are you yawning through the day only to hit the pillow and be wide awake? When you finally fall asleep, do you toss and turn, and wake up feeling like you haven’t slept at all?Do you use sleeping pills to little effect and with fear that it will lead to more severe problems down the road?
You’ve read all of the information on the internet, and have tried the standard recommendations – no electronics an hour before bed, listening to white noise, keeping the temperature in your bedroom under 68 – but you still can’t sleep.
Reserve your spot for our complimentary “Get Some Shut Eye” webinar at 7pm CDT on Thursday, May 18th. I’ve combined my Chinese medicine knowledge with my experience working with people with sleeping issues to create a program that goes beyond the standard recommendations found in a google search about sleep issues. I will share some tips that will support your sleep.
If you register, you will receive information about how to get into the webinar via email on the 17th.
Apply lemon, grapefruit or a detoxification blend topically over your liver area daily to help manage morning sickness.
Use ginger or a digestive blend proactively – don’t wait until you feel sick. Diffuse them aromatically, take internally in a glass of warm water or apply topically to wrists.
We suggest using doTERRA essential oils. You can order them at retail prices on www.mydoterra.com/amylandolt or call us at 815.814.1319 to find out how to get wholesale pricing.
Buy some fresh ginger from the grocery store, and steep a thin slice of ginger in hot water for 5 minutes, and then drink the “ginger tea”.
Try this guided imagery that was shared in an Oprah magazine article.
“Visualize walking barefoot down a long stone staircase. Inhale slowly through the nose for four counts while focusing on how cool the stones feel. Then exhale for eight to ten counts through pursed lips as you imagine taking a step down. Continue until the queasiness has passed.”
Try chewing on fennel seeds whenever you are feeling nauseous or crush the seeds and make a fennel tea.
Morning sickness responds particularly well to acupuncture, and we can show you specific points that you can massage at home to help restore your appetite. Here is a testimonial from one client who responded very well with acupuncture.
If these tips aren’t enough to get rid of your morning sickness, call us at 815.814.1319 to schedule a consultation.
The organs in Chinese medicine are more than just a physical representation. The organs include not only their physiological function, but also their mental, emotional, spiritual and elemental qualities that align with nature and the seasons. Let’s explore the heart.
The heart season is summer, and heart is considered the most yang: hot, bountiful and abundant. Yang is what is bright, moving, outward, hot and loud. Yin is what is more inward, still, dark and cooler. The color of the heart is associated with red, the climate is heat, the flavor is bitter and it’s paired organ is the small intestine (many urinary issues are due to “heart fire” heat descending). The sense aligned with heart is the tongue, and the vessels associated with heart are the tissues. The heart sound is laughing, and the emotion is joy. The heart houses what is known as the shen, which is the mind and spirit. continue reading
While the flu is actually not a season, we have become programmed to think of it as the months of November through March. On average, the flu hospitalizes thousands every year, especially the young and elderly. There are also a number of deaths related to the flu, mostly due to people already having compromised immune systems.
The flu, also known as influenza, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is caused by a number of viruses. To date, there are approximately 26 to 30 different known strains of the flu virus. This is one of the reasons the flu vaccine has only mild efficacy. The flu vaccine itself, typically only covers five to seven strains of the flu. Symptoms of the flu include fever, coughing, a sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, pains, runny nose and watery eyes. continue reading
As the school year kicks back into gear so should the healthy habits that you and your children have before practiced. Notice how I said “practiced,” because we all know during the summer-vacation months we tend to indulge a little. Maybe you have had one too many backyard barbecues, or three too many trips to the favorite ice cream shop down the street. Whatever your summer vice may be don’t worry about it, you can regain those healthy habits from before and introduce them into your children’s lives! continue reading